Discovering The Whole Truth
I was reading today about a "news" story that went viral on the internet, shared hundreds of thousands of times by people who were willing to believe it, no matter how ridiculous it was.
And then the story was covered by a particular news network, which gave it a measure of credence, and it got shared even more.
Yesterday, the story was proven to be patently untrue, and even the news network that covered it had to walk back their reporting, as well as the commentary by some of the talking heads on their network.
It didn't matter, though. The damage had already been done. Hundreds of thousands of people believe it still, and will never be dissuaded otherwise. The only thing that matters to them is what they believe the truth to be. The actual truth is immaterial.
This reminded me of a parable that Fr. Anthony de Mello told once about a man who discovered a store named THE TRUTH SHOP.
When the man went into the store he was asked by the salesperson what kind of truth he wished to purchase, partial or whole. "The whole truth, of course," the man replied. "I want my truth plain and unadulterated."
"The price for that kind of truth is very high, sir," the salesperson said. Determined to get the whole truth, no matter what the cost, the man asked what was on the price tag. The salesperson replied, "Your security, sir."
At that point, the man left the store, and related:
"I came away with a heavy heart. I still need the safety of my unquestioned beliefs."
For those of us who say that we are Christians, the rejection of the whole, unadulterated truth of what it means to follow Jesus has become all too commonplace.
It's easy to embrace the words of Jesus that express love, grace, and mercy, but difficult to embrace the commands he gave regarding sacrifice, radical discipleship, and forgiveness toward those who have wronged us.
Additionally, we'll lift up passages of the Bible that shore up our social worldview, our beliefs, and doctrines, but then patently ignore those that don't.
Or we are quick to point out how our go-to Scripture verses excuse our exclusion of those we don't agree with, but then gloss over the ones that mandate inclusion, acceptance, and unconditional love.
The security of our unquestioned beliefs is the price we must pay, however, in order to discover the truth about ourselves, and who we are to God. It's the cost of discipleship, so to speak, in our efforts to stumble after Jesus...
Who is the Truth... and our Way... and our Life.
May you discover this Truth today and every day forward. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.